Theory Behind the Game Part 1

There are so many games in the market these days, how do you decide which to choose? Even the good games are so numerous the sheer quantity of choices can be daunting. Most of us don't have the budget or the storage space to acquire and keep all the games we would love to own. There is also the fact that our tastes have a tendency to change over time. So what makes Dog Fight: Starship Edition (TM) stand out from the crowd? This post series will address several aspects of Dog Fight to help you decide if this game is right for you.

Many people prefer what we might call "casual" games. Dog Fight is NOT a casual game. This ain't Monopoly. This one-vs-one or one-vs-all combat game centers around tactics and deck design. These aspects in themselves tend to turn away casual gamers. That's fine, it's just a style of game for a particular type of gamer - those who enjoy greater ownership of their the game, more control over their decisions.

As mentioned before Dog Fight is also a customizable card game. This is not a "collectible" card game as that term has become synonymous with a business model that ends up being a money pit for the consumer. While booster packs are available for players to enhance their deck, they are static packs. You can see exactly what is in each pack and get only those packs you want.

That's all well and good but none of that really makes Dog Fight: Starship Edition (TM) any different from other games. What does make Dog Fight different is that from its humble beginnings it was designed to avoid numerous problems with the games already in the market.

So many comparable games are fun yet, out of necessity, include mechanical limitations which significantly detract from the fun factor. There are sometimes ridiculous card effects which often leave the victim of the uber-special card feeling ripped off. There are other business decisions made by publishing companies which turn away many active and potential players. Dog Fight: Starship Edition (TM) was designed explicitly to mitigate or eliminate these types of problems.

In subsequent posts in this series we'll address several aspects of game design for customizable card games such as:
  • mechanics problems
  • annoying limitations
  • realism issues
  • analysis paralysis
  • planned obsolescence
Many customizable card games can still be really fun despite their inherent problems. Can you imagine how a game would be if it kept the fun but disposed of the annoyances? Welcome to Dog Fight: Starship Edition (TM).